“Contentment is natural wealth, luxury is artificial poverty.
Through wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; and by knowledge the rooms shall be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.
Know well the face of your flocks; and pay attention to your herds.
Poor is he who works with a negligent hand, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.
Proverbs 16:8 Better is a little with righteousness than great income with injustice.
Here’s an idea to track your spending:
The most important thing is to carry around a little notebook. Every time you get money whether it’s from a paycheck or a garage sale or picking up change from the ground;write it down. Every time you spend money whether it’s paying bills or buying coffee or paying bus fare write it down. Try keeping track of every penny that enters or leaves your life.
Tracking your spending helps to demystify money you begin to perceive it as a tool. You gain a sense of power & you no longer feel that money controls you, but that you control your finances. Your awareness of your money habits is sharpened, allowing you to make changes to improve your situation. This is an essential money skill, and it’s easy.
This exercise may lead you to change spending habits.
Here are some pointers:
- Be careful with transactions that are easy to forget. Some transactions cash transactions, online transactions, transactions without a receipt are quickly forgotten.
- Get a receipt for everything. It’s easy to forget were you spent your money on just 24 hours later. Make a habit of putting all your receipts in one place so that you know where to find them.
- It’s best to process your transactions daily. I find this easiest but some prefer to do it weekly. Takes minutes!
- Make it a routine. If you get into the habit of tracking your spending, it becomes second nature.
- As always, do what works for you. No one system is perfect for everybody. The important thing is to track your spending.
This process paints a picture of your spending habits as they actually exist, not as you think they exist. You can use this information to create a budget. Or, at the very least, to serve as snapshot of where your money goes.
Everyday I’m more encouraged and thankful for the resources I have to work with. I’m getting by with what I have on hand and I’m so glad to be able to save the money and also use up what we have. Love it! I have a jar of Marmite in the fridge and I’m going to be focusing on using that up. I did this with the pesto I had. All these jars of condiments in the fridge are a blessing but also take up a lot of space.
For those of you who don’t know what Marmite is:
Marmite is dark brown-colored savory spread made from the yeast that is a by-product of the brewing industry. It has a very strong, slightly salty flavor. It is definitely a love-it-or-hate-it type of food.
It comes in small (2-5 inches high) bulb-shaped glass jars with a distinctive yellow lid.
Children in Britain are generally fed it from the time they are weaned, and most never grow out of it. It has a high B-vitamin content, as well as riboflavin and niacin—and as such is very healthy. (The vitamin-B complex helps prevent anemia.)
Last week I spread it on puff pastry with shredded cheese and rolled it up, sliced & baked it as a ‘tapa’. It’s very strong and a little goes a long way.
The last piece of quiche and pumpkin french toast
toasted cheese sandwiches with Butternut soup- we’re on the road today and I’ll pack a picnic.
Cream of butternut soup
Pork & gravy over mashed potatoes
Yesterday I spent 1,25€ on a package of deli ham. My total spent for this 30 day challenge is: 5,52€; leaving me 4,48€ left to spend until December 12th.
For Card making supplies: http://www.stampinup.net/esuite/home/jerushagish/
I started with 10 euros last Tuesday, vowing to not go over. I actually had plenty in the house, but we had house-guests and that always requires a few extra items. I’m reducing my spending in order to use what I have & save for specific goals that I have.
Here’s what I bought & spent: Read more »
Today I spent: $0 on groceries
Total spent these last 19 days: 70,35€
Average per day: 3,70€
We called about a turkey at another market and got a better price: 3,95€ kilo! That’s better than the 5,40€ from the poultry store here in Loeches. Anyway, we ordered two 5 kilo birds because those are as big as they have them here.
All we invited are coming and we are so glad to have a shared day with them. I’ve prepared a Power Point with some photos and a mini presentation to project on our living room wall… just to teach them what THANKSGIVING is. As we Americans know, it is a day that we celebrate for very specific reasons.
I hope to post more updates after the 16th of this month.
After church today I opened a jar of my chili with beef that I had canned and we ate that over rice with a salad. For supper it will be more of the same or egg and toast.
Spent today: $0
Spent in the past 18 days on groceries: 70,35€
Average for these 18 days: 3,90€
cream of butternut squash -we had this yesterday as well, which I took out the freezer
Macaroni & cheese with ham
egg salad sandwiches on hamburger buns (last 2) & lettuce
* we had a wonderful blessing of receiving 2 jars of homemade olives yesterday.
Day12 and I have spent a total of 19,50 euros for the past 12 days.
I baked lasted Thursday so I have plenty of bread, cinnamon rolls, coffee cakes and peach turnovers. Our guest left after lunch and I’m still left with:
1/3 of a zucchini (I cut off a small piece to add to my soup today)
1 tomato (since I pick 1 roma tomato and 3 cherry tomatoes from my ‘almost gone’ summer garden, I still have not run out!)
The truth is, I feel so RICH! There is always plenty of good food here and I enjoy the management of the kitchen and the planning of my meals. I guess I’m just like every other homemaker out there… we just love our job!
homemade sausage (I always have sausage on hand because I make it and then can it in jars… sealed under pressure)
french toast with syrup (I brought back some pancake syrup from the USA last time we were there)
Dinner: (Guest here)
1st plate: sausage & white ban soup (using the leftover sausage from breakfast, the broth from the chicken & sausage that I canned and then saved when I opened the jars, kale from my garden)
Tonight we are going with friends to a FREE concert with traditional hymns to celebrate the Reformation. Happy Reformation Day!! We will probably just eat some leftovers in the fridge before we go out.
Day # 9 I have spent ZERO today and have spent only 5, 48€ in 9 days! A real victory for me as I gather up the fragments and use all that I have.
Tomorrow I’ll go again to market to buy some items needed for the guests that are arriving tomorrow after midnight but will need breakfast the next morning.
My menu for today is:
Lentil Soup (using my cherry tomatoes & 1 potato)
Chicken thighs -Leftover from Yesterday. I fried them yesterday with this WONDERFUL seasoning that my sister-in-law sent to me from the SPICE HOUSE called: Milwaukee Iron Seasoning. Well, all I can say is: YUM!
Baked Sweet Potato ( last one)
1 sliced tomato
Supper: omelets & toast (using 3 eggs)
What I have left:
2 tomato ( I found a roma tomato in the garden!)
a few small onions from my garden
LOTS of Swiss Chard in my garden
Here is my menu for today:
I eat lightly usually a yogurt with cereal in it. John will eat the leftover meatloaf and any other thing he finds in the fridge.
Cream of squash soup (I’m making it with hot thai seasonings this time)
Machaca Burritos- a Cailfornia favorite using 1 jar of my canned shredded beef, 3 scrambled eggs, cheese, salsa, wrapped in a large flour tortilla
Fried flour tortilla wedges sprinkled with cinnamon & sugar
You may have noticed that I’m trying to finish off a package of flour tortillas in the fridge!
Paella- we are still working through all the paella in the freezer in 2 portion baggies.
Money spent on groceries today: $0
Total spent the last 7 days: .50¢
What I have left:
a bit of cabbage
1/2 of a zucchini
I also can still pick 2-3 cherry tomatoes each day from my garden.
We have guests coming on Thursday evening so I have to get a few things to buy for that, but I don’t plan on spending anything until then.
A menu plan saves money. Reducing trips to the supermarket, a menu plan reduces impulse spending. Using leftovers efficiently cuts food waste and ‘working in’ an ingredient that I already have helps me use what’s in the pantry or garden.
A menu plan saves time. No frantic searches of what to prepare… I know exactly what meals I’m fixing at all times. This frees me up to do other things.
A menu plan improves nutrition. John and I basically eat little or no junk food. We eat real homemade meals and we always have homemade bread on hand. I buy only fruit and vegetables on sale. When traveling, I also pack lunches to save on money. Almost anything I make will be tastier & more nutritious than buying on the road.
*I like to plan my menus by the week and I also plan for leftovers. I try to include at least one menu for guests too.
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|College funding for children|
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